When you have one of the best engines in the world and need somewhere else to stick it, why not the BMW M2 Competition?

Portrait of Tammy Strobel


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THE gods in Bavaria have sharpened their knives and bestowed upon us another gift in the form of the M2 Competition.

Part of the magic in this baby M car is down to the creamy straight-6 inside the engine bay, now stiffened with a carbonfibre brace for better handling.

BMW has plonked the 3-litre twin-turbo from the M3 and M4 into the M2 Competition, giving it 410hp and 550Nm of torque.

That means 40 more horses and 85 more Newtonmetres of twist than the old M2.

That launches the pocket rocket to 100km/h in 4.2 seconds, one-tenth of a second quicker than the prior model.

Pert proportions give the car instant desirability (and also stir up naughty notions as to how you’d treat it later).

Downturned front “fangs”, paired with the darkened kidney grille, menace other lesser cars, while sculpted wing mirrors and bespoke wheels round off the racy look.

The sporty cabin has light-up M Sport seats and a pareddown cockpit, underscoring the car’s purist nature.

You can change the 7-speed gearbox’s shift ferocity with just a few taps on a button in the centre console, and two buttons on the steering wheel – M1 and M2 – let you change driving modes.

Those programmable buttons change the car’s behaviour from trackday stormer to Raffles Place cruiser in an instant.

Which it does marvellously well. On passive dampers, the ride quality, though firm, never jars your bones, and you could do some serious mileage in this car.

Your thoughts are telegraphed via a linear and direct steering rack, which tells you exactly where the wheels are pointing at all times, although messages about road conditions are mostly filtered out.

Its short wheelbase means the car simply rotates around you when you demand it to, while its sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sports afford you massive grip no matter the conditions.

Which is what you need when let loose on an empty stretch – launch the M2 Competition and it devours tarmac with alarming fervor as the revs climb. Keep the throttle pinned and the engine keeps pulling even in the upper reaches.

With a metallic symphony of engine roar and turbo whoosh, they combine to make one killer soundtrack. Simply pull the right paddle to make it happen all over again.

The car never feels anything less than unsettled, even at higher speeds, though you might want to dial it back if your fists are indeed, made of ham.

There’s a certain rawness to this car that you don’t quite get from others. A sharp and agile chassis, responsive engine and immense brakes also see that a smile is kept planted on your face.

Most importantly, the M2 Competition celebrates driver involvement, and that is what shoots it to the top of the sporty coupe pack.
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BMW has fitted the M2 Competition with lots of parts from the M3 and M4, including this beautiful wing mirror.
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Snappy 7-speed gearbox lets you have fun seven different ways.
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